Last night Jason asked me (to paraphrase) how I manage to get out adventuring so much. I thought it a good question, and typed a long winded answer. Today I managed to work an (almost) full day and do a 20+ mile hiking and packrafting loop, and had plenty of time to think about the keys to getting out a lot. They are not complex.
-Live near fun stuff. This basic tenant reveals all the complexities which lie behind this issue, and that getting out lots is in the end a lifestyle choice. I do not live where I live by luck or coincidence. I live here so I can do all these things.
-Get experienced. Be able to predict conditions fairly well and craft a trip which will succeed. Organize your gear so you can pack quickly and not forget important things. Packing for a sub-24 should take no more than 20 minutes, total. Including clothes worn and food.
-Commit. I got up early, was first into the office, and hammered out paperwork so I could go to the meetings I’d artfully stacked one after the other after the other all so I could zip out into the woods ASAP. I slept less than I like because I was up late last night boxing prizes and packing for the trip. The legendary trips of the rest of your happen can happen NOW if you want them to.
-Be flexible. It was meant to be a little overnight, but things developed during that day and I need to be earlyish tomorrow, so I pushed a bit faster and paddled a bit harder, did the loop in a day and got home late. And very happy.
The loop itself was the one I did this time last year, when I was up interviewing for the job I have now. It’s a particularly great trip to do right now, as the Aspens and Cottonwoods in the sage-covered old river bottoms are changing.
I had fun irritating myself trying to adequately capture the mood that is yellow aspens on pixels.
It never seems to work well, photographing my favorite tree.
The loop is hiking from the Kishenehn TH near Kintla Lake up to the Canadian border, and packrafting back down. This time the river was, as usual this time of year, otherwordly clear, and the paddling sublime. All that, a flawlessly bluebird day, and from last night a visible dusting of snow on the peaks above 7k or so.
My favorite time of year has officially arrived. It’s going to be good.